Who We Are

Jennifer Brehler
  Interim President

Jennifer joined Asheville Humane Society in July 2008. She currently serves on the Board of the North Carolina Animal Federation (NCAF). She has over 15 years of experience working in open admission shelters. Jennifer began her career in animal welfare working for the Michigan Humane Society where she served initially as an Adoption Counselor advancing to shelter management. In 2003 Jennifer left the Michigan Humane Society Detroit Shelter for Durham, North Carolina where she managed the daily operations of the Durham County Animal Shelter through private/public cooperation with Durham County Government and the Animal Protection Society of Durham. She has been instrumental in the smooth transition of both staff and animals during several shelter construction projects, most recently the opening of two new facilities at the Buncombe County Animal Care Campus in Asheville, North Carolina. Jennifer has transitioned staff, volunteers and the community through significant programming changes to greatly reduce the euthanasia of adoptable animals. Jennifer has a Bachelor's of Science in Humane Leadership from Duquesne University. Email Jennifer at jbrehler@ashevillehumane.org

Eileen Bouressa
  Vice President of Development & Community Programs

Eileen was raised in Rhode Island in a family hosting at least one foster child or foster pet at all times. Throughout her adult life, she has rescued and fostered over one hundred animals on her own and then with the help of her very patient husband Brian. They have lived in Asheville for 15 years and are raising two boys, Jack (11) and Ben (9), with the help of 3 cats, Lucy, Magpie and Mac (a former adult feral who really doesn’t help much at all) and 2 dogs, JB, a Beagle/Bassett and Mimi, a Rottie mix. All of her pets are rescues from Asheville Humane Society, the Haywood County Animal Shelter, All Creatures Great and Small (during the state-mandated shutdown) and the side of the road.

After spending her freshman year as a Communications Major at the University of Hawaii, Eileen graduated from Bates College in Lewiston, Maine with a Bachelor’s degree in Rhetoric. Throughout her years working in public relations, archaeology, management, fundraising, copywriting and editing, and serving as the Press Secretary on a national political campaign, the one constant in Eileen’s life was volunteering and rescuing animals in need. Oftentimes, her rescue efforts interfered with her day job, so it was a dream come true when, in 2001, she was offered the position of Executive Director of the Haywood Animal Welfare Association, working hand-in-hand with the Haywood County Animal Shelter. After two years working exclusively with open-admission shelter pets, Eileen was hired as the Executive Director of Animal Compassion Network, which offered a “safe-for-life” rescue environment. When Animal Compassion Network and Asheville Humane Society merged in May 2013, Eileen’s position transitioned into the Vice President of Development and Community Programs for Asheville Humane Society. Not surprisingly, Eileen performs all of her duties in her office with a foster pet hanging out on the couch next to her desk. Email Eileen at ebouressa@ashevillehumane.org

Jim Fulton
  Vice President of Administration & Executive Affairs

Originally from Chicago, Jim holds a master's degree in theatre lighting design from the University of Connecticut and was a professor of theatre design at Rollins College in Orlando, FL. While in Florida he volunteered for the Orlando Humane Society, serving as the volunteer coordinator. After moving to Asheville, Jim volunteered at the Asheville Humane Society and eventually was hired as paid staff, holding the positions of Adoption Counselor, Office Manager, and Assistant Shelter Manger. Jim is a graduate of the Humane Society of the United States "Pets For Life" program and has taught regional workshops on animal behavioral assessments, adoptions programs and reducing animal stress in shelters. Email Jim at jfulton@ashevillehumane.org

Heather Brannan
  Director of Community Programs

In the true spirit of special event planners, Heather joined the Asheville Humane Society staff on her birthday in May of 2012. A native of Los Angeles, California, Heather moved with her family to Asheville at a young age, where she traded in her surfboard for a mountain bike and quickly grew to love the area and the outdoor lifestyle that it offers. Heather brings over 15 years of career experience in special events, public relations, and communications from a diverse background that includes the medical field, the hospitality industry, competitive sports arenas, and more. Most recently she served as the Special Events Coordinator at The Biltmore Estate Equestrian Center and as the Special Events Manager at The Grove Park Inn Resort & Spa. A lifelong animal lover, Heather also has extensive event and competition experience in the equestrian world, including years as a director of programs at summer camps, rated horse show management, international long-distance endurance event coordination, and more.  She also created and managed the Biltmore Equestrian Team program. She currently competes on the circuit with her dressage horse, Warrior, and her hunter horse, Jovian. Heather lives in Asheville with rescue dog Bristol, her Asheville Humane Society "foster failure" Anderson, and the real man of the house, her black lab, Captain Jack. Email Heather at volunteer@ashevillehumane.org

Pam Burgess
  Adoption Center Director

Pam joined the management team of Asheville Humane Society in September 2010 after spending nearly two years as a foster parent and volunteering with the photography club. Before combining her volunteer passion with her career, Pam spent 37 years in the restaurant industry. Twenty four of those years she spent in management during which time she developed comprehensive training programs and taught new managers. Pam has received numerous awards for excellence in guest services, sanitation, and increased sales profitability during her career. Pam has a Bachelor's Degree in History from the University of Florida.Born in Cincinnati, Pam has spent much of her time in the Midwest and Florida before moving to Asheville in 2003. Email Pam at adoptions@ashevillehumane.org

Miranda Tipton
  Placement & Population Care Director

Miranda Tipton is a lifelong resident of Asheville. She and her husband, Mark, began their involvement with Asheville Humane Society as foster parents in 2008. Miranda later joined the staff in 2010 as the Lost and Found Coordinator and developed the program to national-level attention with outstanding return-to-owner rates triple the national average. Miranda holds an Associate's Degree in Veterinary Medical Technology and is a registered veterinary technician with the state of North Carolina. She currently lives with her husband, four dogs (Izzy, Max, Chelsea and Baiden), three cats (Lily, Tikki and Ninja Kitty) and a rotation of furry foster animals. Email Miranda at mtipton@ashevillehumane.org

Angie Wilt
  Interim Director of Operations

Angie is originally from Akron, Ohio where she grew up with a healthy obsession with animals. (The protagonist of The Wizard of OZ was Toto and she worked tirelessly to help all of the stray dogs and cats and to rehab every abandoned baby bird.) She graduated from Kent State University with a BA in Technical Theatre and immediately moved to Cedar City, UT to serve as a Master Electrician and eventually the Assistant Electrics Director. While in Utah she helped to develop an education program for technical theatre students where she taught a summer seminar and travelled to different schools teaching people about their theatre equipment. In 2009 she and her partner moved to Asheville and she began volunteering for Animal Compassion Network. She was soon hired as an animal care specialist, and then promoted to Animal Coordinator, then to Director of Operations. Angie is extremely honored to have been a part of the merging process of ACN and AHS and is over-the-moon about the potential this union holds for the animals in our community. She is ready to roll up her sleeves and get to work! She currently lives in Weaverville with her partner, Mindy, their 2 dogs, 2 cats and 7 chickens. Email Angie at awilt@ashevillehumane.org.

Heather O. Hayes
  Marketing & Design Manager

Heather joined the Asheville Humane Society team in July 2012. Originally from eastern North Carolina, Heather grew up surrounded by a multitude of pets and began rescuing strays as soon as she was old enough to play outside. She graduated from NC State University and received a degree in Environmental Design in Architecture. She was also a recipient of the Park Scholarship, a full scholarship awarded on the basis of academics, leadership, service and character. At the Park Scholar graduation gala, Heather told a ballroom full of people that her future career goal was to become a "pet avenger." Working for AHS is fulfillment of that ambition. After graduating and moving to Asheville, Heather's design focus evolved from architecture to graphic design. She previously worked at architecture and landscape architecture firms, a local newspaper, and a marketing/advertising agency. Heather has also operated a freelance graphic design business, I Do Declare Design, since 2008. Heather and her husband Joel live in west Asheville with their large furry family of 4 cats (Ism, Boo, Peach and e.e. nubbins) and 3 dogs (Phinny, Jay-Z and Willowby G. Watson), all rescues. Email Heather at hhayes@ashevillehumane.org.

Lauren Weldishofer
  Special Events Manager

Prior to joining the Asheville Humane Society team, Lauren worked as the Marketing & Events Manager with Animal Compassion Network. She came on board with AHS during the merger of the two animal welfare organizations in May 2013. A native of Cincinnati, Ohio, Lauren holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Communications from Winthrop University in Rock Hill, South Carolina. After many visits and drives through the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains, Lauren relocated to Asheville, NC in 2007. She began her career in Asheville working in the craft beer industry and with a public relation firm. Inspired by the wonderful dog-friendly community of Asheville, Lauren followed her passion for pets into a career working with companion animals. Beginning as a volunteer with Animal Compassion Network, then as an Animal Care Specialist on staff with ACN and as a Veterinary Assistant at a local animal hospital, Lauren expanded her knowledge of animal care and welfare. She found her niche within the animal welfare world in the sphere of marketing and event planning. For Lauren it is the best of both worlds – people and pets! In her free time Lauren enjoys gardening, practicing yoga, hiking, reading, photography and traveling. In 2009, after years of “borrowing” friends’ dogs to join in her adventures, Lauren brought home her very own rescue mutt, Gypsy Lady. Email Lauren at lweldishofer@ashevillehumane.org.

Megan Collins
  Safety Net Coordinator

Megan came to the Asheville Humane Society in February 2008 as a volunteer due to her love of animals. She grew up on a horse farm in Black Mountain where she learned the art of showing horses with her Paint Horse, Supreme Blizzard. Over the years, the farm was also home to cows, goats, sheep, peacocks, a pot-bellied pig, a donkey, two dogs and a cat. Megan was hired as an animal caretaker in October 2008 and then promoted to Admissions Coordinator in May 2009. Megan resumed her collegiate studies in August 2010 and has been attending Asheville Buncombe Technical Community College working towards a Business degree. Megan returned to Asheville Humane Society in August 2012 as the Safety Net Coordinator for the Buncombe County Animal Shelter. Her position assists pet owners considering re-homing options and works toward keeping pets with their people. Megan shares her life with her Boxer, Jake and several fosters. Email Megan at mcollins@ashevillehumane.org

BreeAnn Keogh
  Public Health & Transfer Coordinator

BreeAnn joined Asheville Humane Society July 2008 from the neighboring county of Transylvania. She has been volunteering with animal shelters since she was 12 years old. She graduated Brevard High School in 2007 with high honors and briefly attended Warren Wilson where she studied environmental science. BreeAnn was promoted to Transfer Coordinator in September 2010 and works with Animal Compassion Network and Brother Wolf Animal Rescue, as well as other adoption placement partners. BreeAnn also serves as the SAFER assessor and conducts temperament tests for dogs. She shares her life with a three-legged hound mix (July), a Chihuahua mix (Little Huey) and a Mastiff (Bear). Email BreeAnn at transfer@ashevillehumane.org

Kim Roberts
  Critical Care Coordinator

Kim joined Asheville Humane Society in July 2013 as the Critical Care Coordinator after volunteering for the AHS Event Committee. She has over 25 years experience in nonprofits, and 10 years in the professional animal welfare field. Kim worked for The Humane Society of the United States for several years in a variety of roles, including Program Manager the Animal Services Consultation Program (ASC), the First Strike Program and Humane Society International. Kim has spoken across the country on the connection between animal cruelty and human violence. She also worked as the Executive Director of the Humane Society of Wicomico County in Maryland where she also managed Animal Control for the county. Kim has a Master’s of Social Work degree from the University of Kentucky. She lives in Asheville with her husband, Mo, and 3 rescue cats (Snickers, Harlo & Dexter) and 1 rescue dog (Pedey). Email Kim at kroberts@ashevillehumane.org.

Susan Prescott
  Development Assistant and Database Administrator

Susan Prescott, Development Assistant and Database Administrator, first came to Asheville Humane Society as a volunteer, entering data for volunteers and donations and fostering animals. She has had multiple careers in theatre, publishing and graphic design. In addition to her part-time position at Asheville Humane Society, she works part time as a graphic designer for the publisher of Homes & Land Magazine. She loves being able to work in both worlds - and especially loves being able to bring her dog, Otis, to both jobs and have him sit behind her as she works. Email Susan at office@ashevillehumane.org